Date:Monday August 20 2012
Vital Hartlepool picks out five things we learned from the game between Hartlepool and Swindon.
1) Our defence isn't that bad after all
After a hammering against Crewe last weekend, our defensive line came in for some justified criticism. Thankfully it was a much stronger performance against Swindon, with the Robins restricted to relatively few chances over the 90 minutes.
When the visitors did break through, a combination of poor finishing and good goalkeeping kept the scores level.
2) Ivan Ash is brilliant
Okay, we knew this already, but it was a masterstroke by whoever made the decision to hand Mr Ash the announcer's microphone for the opening game of the season. Even better, they didn't tell him what buttons to press, hence the goal celebration music when Swindon made a sub and the lack of music when the teams came on the pitch.
3) Di Canio - Celebrity first, manager second
Paulo Di Canio was his usual animated self on the touchline, screaming all afternoon regardless of what was happening on the pitch. Strangely he tended to shout at the substitutes an awful lot, rather than those on the field. After the game he stormed onto the team coach without talking to the press, what a charmer.
4) Howard is a battering ram
Steve Howard added a huge amount of power to our forward line and is already looking like a player we've needed for some time. Unfortunately it didn't look like his understanding with either James Poole or Luke James was anywhere near the level it needs to be. But it was nice to see us win some headers for once.
5) Winger worries
With Howard leading the line, I would have expected Neale Cooper to be looking for breaks down the wings and good crosses into the box. Which made it all the more curious that he played the game with wingers Andy Monkhouse and Jonathan Franks on the wrong side. Monkhouse had a good game while Franks showed some of his raw pace at times, but both were forced to come inside on too many occasions.
This was summed up in the first half when the ball was played over to Monkhouse, who was in a great position in the box. If he was on his left foot he would have smashed the ball first time and either scored or forced a save out of the goalkeeper, but by being on his right foot he had to try and bring the ball down, slipping in the process and losing a great chance.
You can read Vital Hartlepool's full match report HERE.
Date:Monday August 20 2012
Colin Cooper Appointed Hartlepool Boss (Friday May 24 2013)
John Hughes and Micky Barron Sacked (Thursday May 9 2013)
Evan Horwood Heads Hartlepool Exit List (Tuesday May 7 2013)
Hartlepool End Season With Crawley Draw (Saturday April 27 2013)
Solid Draw In Hartlepool's Final Home Game (Saturday April 20 2013)
Hartlepool Record Shock Away Win (Saturday April 13 2013)
Monkhouse Double Lifts Pools Off The Bottom (Saturday April 6 2013)
Not So Good Friday For Hartlepool (Friday March 29 2013)
Another Blank Leaves Hartlepool Rock Bottom (Saturday March 23 2013)
Limp Defeat Leaves Pools Facing League 2 (Tuesday March 19 2013)
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